In a world of incredibly talented metal artists, many sadly go unnoticed and become forgotten or don’t get nearly as much support as they deserve. With just some more money and exposure, these bands could of became the next Metallica for all we know, but they faded away. Some are re-discovered later as “gems”, and sometimes even get their stuff repressed, but wouldn’t it be nice if some of those bands were still active? We as fans have a job to do, and that is to spread heavy metal music across the globe and broadcast the artists and bands that deserve it. Their music cannot fade away into the endless void of oblivion. We have to do it for bands such as Phidion.
Phidion is in a pretty impressive project considering what they have been able to do without much support from any labels. They’re an unsigned, Swedish death/thrash metal band that have been kicking it since as early as 2003, but only released their debut this year on May 29th, titled The Throes of Scourge. Prior to that, we got releases like their 2012 EP Flesh For The Forsaken, and their live album Ten Years of Eternal Insomnia – Live at Rocks in 2014.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Phidion comes out with a single CD with three songs and alternative artwork to their album. The single sounded great, and at this point everyone was shitting themselves for the new Phidion album (well, we definitely were anyway). It’s taken a long time for these guys to come full circle and finally release a record, but man was it worth the wait.
The Throes of Scourge is a perfect blend of thrash and death metal, and Phidion knows how to combine an ominous atmosphere along with some great groove and awesome riffs. This isn’t really a record that’s trying to be really fast or brutal, it’s more focused on explaining what’s going on in the lyrics. Each song is performed exceptionally well and feels like a soundtrack to what it’s describing. There’s a lot of variety, from straight-forward thrash, some melodic segments, death metal chugging, and brutal high vocals coming from vocalist Oliver Palmquist mixed in with equally crushing lows backing him up.
One the albums heaviest hitters would have to be “Derek’s Don’t Run”, which starts off right with a great death metal groove, and then just goes pure thrash towards the end. The playing isn’t overly technical, flashy, or trying to be more than it is. Phidion integrates various sounds to make the album unique, and seriously really nailed it with the instrumentation.
Another cool thing about the album is that it switches between fast parts and slower parts quite often in a handful of songs, while still keeping the same dark and heavy vibes going. A song will go from sounding like a cross between Slayer and Carcass and then move into a slower, foreboding interlude. These segments complement the rest of the song pretty well, and a song that demonstrates this really well is “Anthropophagus”, which is a song about a killer delving into their sick fantasies without any remorse. The way the song is written, it feels as if listeners are being taken into the killer’s mind, but instead of finding focused rage and misanthropy towards the human race, they find complete lunacy and happiness in what he’s doing.
And speaking of good lyrics, there’s some solid writing going on here too. It’s not groundbreaking, but on songs like “Lost Transmission” or “The Empty Chapel”, the lyrics come off as pretty menacing and vicious. “The Empty Chapel” paints a picture of humanity pleading to a higher power in desperation to vanquish the violence and despair going on in their lives, only to hopelessly hear nothing at all in return. The closing line where it says: “A silent refuge – a mirage of mind, A believer abandoned ,When trust in god dies” is so fucking good, man. “Lost Transmission” describes someone who is dying in some sort of accident, and takes you inside their head as they feel their demise approaching. It’s good that Phidion takes their songwriting seriously and don’t try so hard to be as edgy as possible. The lyrics on The Throes of Scourge are grim, but realistic, and when you’ve created a serious work of art that people can also lose their shit to at concerts and have fun, that takes some talent.
If you’re a fan of death/thrash, realistic lyricism, and some seriously talented musicians playing some awesome metal music, we’d recommend this one to you. Phidion hopefully will start releasing more extensive material, as this album demonstrates clearly that there is much more in their arsenal. These guys like to play around and experiment with odd riffs and time signatures, and there’s really no telling what’s in store for the future but at least we know it will be great. 8.5/10.
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